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Baby born in MMC elevator

by Minden Press-Herald

January 9, 2024 started like any normal day for 39-week-pregnant Gillian Norred, her husband Jacob and their three boys, Shepherd, Asher and Levi.  The family were busy getting ready for work and school.  The boys got on their bus at 6:40am but instead of going to work, Jacob and Gillian decided to head to Minden to the hospital, an hour drive from their house.  She thought she was having a few contractions and the night before the baby was less active, which was odd Gillian said because he had been the most active of all four boys in the womb.  

During the hour journey she began making all the necessary phone calls; one to her cousin, Amanda Johnson, an RN at Minden Medical Center on the Perinatal Unit, the baby’s nurse, then to the birth photographer, Sarah, to start heading towards Minden from Shreveport to capture this special moment and to the amazing Dr. McKenzie, Gillian’s doctor to meet them at the hospital.  After talking to Dr. McKenzie, Gillian told Dr. McKenzie she had not timed anything but she would start logging what she felt were very mild contractions.  During the hour drive she logged 20 consistent contractions, that were getting a little stronger, but still not very painful she reports. 

“The contractions weren’t unbearable, I could still talk through them” so when driving up Jacob pulled into the circle drive at the front of the hospital, dropped her off and went to park the van.  Gillian walked through the front doors and was welcomed by a friendly voice at the front desk.  She told the receptionist, “I’m in labor and need to go to the 4th floor. Dr. McKenzie is following me, and she knows I’m coming. She is supposed to meet me upstairs.”

The kind lady, who Gillian now knows is named Karey, showed her the direction to the elevator and said as soon as she turned to make her way there, she knew the baby was coming.  She told Karey, she was feeling lots of pressure.  Karey then asked if she needed some help getting to the elevator.  She replied, “I may can use some assistance.” Karey got a wheelchair and by the time Gillian sat down, she said excitedly, “He is coming!” 

Karey began assisting with Gillian’s clothing to prepare for a baby to be born all while calling for assistance from the front desk staff and ER.  Gillian reported Karey never left her side and was fully engaged and positioned to catch a baby.  The registration manager, Crystal, tossed gloves to the ER doctor, Dr. Chanler, who quickly changed places with Karey for him and the ED nurse to take over. 

The elevator doors closed and the doctor calmly and thoroughly talked Gillian through everything taking place.  She reports the baby was born quickly and arrived with a tightly wrapped triple nuchal cord and purple/blue body coloring, but Dr. Chanler took appropriate action, never losing his calm demeanor, unwrapped the cord, while the baby was laying on her abdomen.  The baby let out a cry, his color almost immediately started returning, and he began to calmly look up at her.  She said by the time the doors opened on the 4th floor, he was absolutely perfect!  She ended her recollection of the event stating what a blessing Dr. Chanler was to them on the day of their baby’s birth.  

Mom and baby are doing great and dad is too.  Dad said when he came into the hospital from parking the van and told the staff at the front desk his wife is having a baby, he could tell by the looks on their faces, he added, “She already had him didn’t she?”  This is the second time daddy Jacob has missed the birth of a son. Their 2nd child was delivered by mom in the car while daddy went into the ER to get assistance.  This time, Gillian’s cousin missed it, the photographer missed it, and her doctor missed it.  Although they were all on their way, God put others in place to take care of mom and baby. 

Gillian says she cannot thank those involved enough for their swift action, compassion, kindness, and willingness to jump in on a job task they probably never imagined would be on the to-do list for the morning of January 9, 2024!

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